A long-term rescue dog spends Christmas in a new home

A rescue dog who spent two-years being cared for Dogs Trust Newbury has spent Christmas in a loving home.

Six-year old Pickles had been in the care of the Hampstead Marshall-based centre since September 2016. After almost 800 days in their care, he got his wish and has now been adopted by a new family in Abingdon.

Pickles was adopted by his new family, Kathryn and Tim Hooper who had been searching for a dog for a while so took a trip to Dogs Trust Newbury where they were introduced to Pickles by his Canine Carer.

Kathryn said: “We took a liking to him straightaway and he seemed to like us – so it was a match made in heaven.”

During his time at the centre, staff fell in love with Pickles endearing personality, and worked hard to make him feel at home.

They discovered how clever he was, and he loved spending time with his favourite Carer, Victoria who taught him lots of tricks including a dance routine to the foxtrot, and she helped prepare him for the day he would eventually find his forever home.

Nicki Barrow, Dogs Trust Newbury’s Rehoming Centre Manager, said: “Waving goodbye to Pickles was a bittersweet day for everyone. He was so well-loved here so naturally we were sad to see him go. But knowing he was going to a perfect home and got to spend Christmas with his own family made it all worthwhile for us.

“We truly believe that a dog is for life and there really is an owner out there for every single dog. We couldn’t have wished for a more perfect home for Pickles and his new owner absolutely adores him, and he does her. Pickles was known to take a while to build his bonds with new people, but after a number of visits from Kathryn and Tim and the hard work his Canine Carers put in with making him feel comfortable, it really was a match made in heaven and we couldn’t be happier.”

If you think you could provide a ‘paw’fect home for a dog at Dogs Trust Newbury you can visit www.dogstrust.org.uk.



Halti supports new dog owners with social media campaign

Company of Animals has created a series of fun and educational videos as part of a new social media campaign for its Halti range.

The leading dog training and behaviour experts have created the campaign, which will launch across Facebook, Intagram and YouTube early 2019 and will offer training advice to help new puppy owners walk their four-legged friends.

The videos depict useful techniques on how to best tackle behaviour such as pulling and chewing all while providing a positive learning experience for owners and their puppies.

The films also explain how using the right walking equipment can enhance the effectiveness of training and can further encourage good walking habits.

The original Halti headcollar was designed by dog behaviour expert Dr Roger Mugford in 1979 and has evolved into a comprehensive range of no-pull and walk training solutions for all types and sizes of dogs.

The Halti products have proved to offer owners fantastic control whilst gently correcting challenging behavioural traits and improve the overall walking experience.

The Halti products offer owners control whilst gently correcting challenging behavioural traits and improve the overall walking experience. The range is available in a choice of up to four vibrant colours, smart two-tone webbing, a reflective weave and soft neoprene padding for combined visibility and comfort.

Vicky Benneworth, Head of Marketing at Company of Animals, said: “We are thrilled to be launching this campaign for Halti and to provide an expert voice in puppy behaviour and walk talking. We have worked hard to make the videos fun and user friendly and we are excited to start a dialogue around dog training and hear about our customers own experiences when training their puppies.”

To find out more about the Halti range and watch the new puppy training videos, you can visit www.companyofanimals.co.uk.





Catit launch new tasty lickable cat treats

Catit have launched a new lickable cat treat, which is taking the cat world by storm.

Catit Creamy is a healthy and hydrating lickable treat rich in amino acids and come in three tasty flavours; chicken and liver, seaford and salmon.

They can be served on a dish of fed to your cat directly from the tube as a special reward. Catit Creamy are natural, tasty and full of essential nutrients.

Each sachet is rich in amino acids, highly palatable, have high meat content and can add tasty variety to your cat’s diet.

There are many ways for your feline friend to enjoy Catit Creamy:

  1. Hand feed your cat
  2. Use Catit Creamy as a topper on their dried food
  3. Serve on Catit’s delightful heart dish

Catit have shared a video to prove just how much cats love this tasty treat, which can be viewed here.

Catit is also encouraging pet owners to upload videos of their cats enjoying Catit Creamy with the hashtag #mycatitcreamyuk to – https://www.catit.com/uk/product-category/treats/catit-creamy/.

For more information on Catit Creamy you can visit www.catit.com.




Over half of UK pet owners don’t have insurance

Research from comparetemarket.com reveals that over half of pet owners have not taken out insurance or their animal.

Despite the high levels of underinsurance, comparethemarket.com reveals that a large minority (44%) of owners would struggle to afford vet bills out of their own savings.

The number is even higher for cats, where 62% are not covered compared to 47% for dogs. This equates to around 4 million uninsured dogs and 6 million uninsured cats living in the UK.

In spite of the widespread reluctance to insure their furry friends, eight in ten pet owners still have concerns about the safety of their pet.

According to research, the top three anxieties amongst pet owners are that their animal will be hurt in a road accident (43%), will be injured in a fight with another animal (41%), or will be stolen (30%).

Of those who do have insurance, the average premium per month is £19 or around £230 a year, although this varies by region. Londoners pay the highest average monthly premiums (£25) but are least likely to insure their animals.

By contrast, Yorkshire pet owners are most likely to have taken out a policy, and the Welsh pay the least per month (£14.21). Pet owners have different levels of concern depending on where they live. In urban areas, anxiety rises to 82% compared to 76% in the countryside.

The majority of policy holders (64%) said they took our insurance in order to reduce the cost of vet fees, over a third (35%), said they had a policy because they were worried their pet would fall ill, and 25% feared their pet would be hurt in an accident.

Of the pet owners surveyed, 32% admitted that their cat or dog had been taken ill or injured and had to see a vet. Cuts and scratches were the most common reason for vet trips (23%), followed by injuries sustained as a result of a fight with another animal (23%).

Andrew Milburn, pet expert at comparethemarket.com, said: “It’s surprising to see that so many pet owners haven’t taken the steps to protect their pets, and their bank balances, should they get ill or injured. There’s no NHS for pets, and if you don’t have pet insurance, vet fees can often come to hundreds or even thousands of pounds.

“Pet insurance doesn’t just cover the cost of looking after your pet if they fall ill or are in an accident. Our research suggests that owners are particularly worried that their pet will hurt or be hurt by another animal, but many insurance policies also include third party liability. This covers compensation and costs from accidental injury or damage caused by your mutt to another animal, person or property.

“By contrast, the law considers cats to be ‘free spirits’ so their owners are not accountable for what they do. As with all insurance products, carefully check the terms and conditions to be absolutely sure what your policy covers.”




RSPCA animal rescuers busy over festive period

Over the festive period calls to the RSPCA were up by a third with 15,723 calls received.

While many families enjoyed roast dinners board games and festive films this Christmas period, RSPCA officers were out helping animals in need.

The animal welfare charity operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and this Christmas was no different.

Over the festive period, the RSPCA’s officers and inspectors responded to 15,723 calls and helped 759 animals. Last year, the charity received 11,530 calls between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day – 36% less than this year.

The RSPCA have shared some of the many call outs that they attended to over the festive period, including a deer, seals and abandoned chinchillas.

Inspector Emily Astilberry and animal collection officer (ACO) Paige Burnham had a tricky rescue on Christmas Day after being called to help a male fallow deer whose antlers were tangled up in electric fencing.

The deer had snapped the fence in three places and had the fencing and a fence pole wrapped tightly around his neck and antlers and he was desperately trying to free himself but was just getting more tangled.

Emily and Paige called the vets for help and started to get some control over the deer by winding the fencing around the Secure posts at the edge. He was sedated so they could properly remove the fencing.

The rescue took five hours and left the girls exhausted. Inspector Astilberry, said: “We finished the rescue at 6pm and made our way back to our vehicles, tired and in need of a mince pie. It was hard, difficult, exhausting work but well worth every minute of our Christmas to see him free again at the end of all our efforts.”

Another rescue included two troubled seal pups who were rescued by RSPCA Cymru officers during the Christmas period.

The first seal pup, which was found underweight, exhausted and with an injury under the chin – was rescued from the beach between Anerthaw and Gileston on 22 December.

The second seal was rescued from the beach at Monkstone Point near Saundersfoot on Boxing Day. Both seals were separately taken to RSPCA Wildlife Centres to recover.

An RSPCA officer ended up with a furry friend over Christmas after being called out to recue four abandoned chinchillas in Sheffiend on Christmas Eve.

Inspector Kim Greaves was called to the sailing club at Dunford Bridge by a member of the public who found two chinchillas abandoned.

Inspector Greaves said: “Sadly only one of the chincillas was alive and she was terrified but I managed to catch her in my net. She was very cold and wet through. Chinchillas cant cope with the wet so I rushed her home over the festive break. She’s doing very well now and has perked up over the festive break.”

Three 11-week old puppies are being cared for by the RSPCA after being abandoned in the Forest of Dean. The dogs, two boys and a girl were discovered by a member of the public on 30 December in Stenders Court, Mitcheldean, after it is thought they were left at some point overnight.

RSPCA Inspector, Suzi Smith, who is investigating, said: “We are urging anyone who has any information about how these dogs came to be abandoned to please contact us in complete confidence on 0300 123 8018.

“We’re hoping somebody will recognise these puppies and help us to find out how they came to be abandoned.”









Why adopting a Battersea dog could help you be happier and healthier in 2019

Battersea Dogs & Cats Home highlight how adopting a dog could improve your own lifestyle.

This New Year, Battersea Dogs & Cats Home is encouraging those who can to adopt a dog, in a bid to improve their own lifestyle while changing a dog’s life at the same time.

Every New Year, millions of people across the world will set themselves resolutions to lead a happier and healthier lifestyle.

Promising to lose weight, get fitter and look after our mental health are all some of the most common goals and rehoming a rescue dog can help tick all those boxes.

Research shows that owning a dog can reduce the risk of heart disease by 23%. The exercise that dog ownership brings can also promote weight loss and lower blood pressure, leading to better physical health.

In addition, dog ownership has proven to be good for our mental health. Dog walking and training classes encourages people to be more sociable, tackling loneliness and isolation.

Just relaxing with your dog increases oxytocin production, which is known as the ‘happy hormone’. Once this is released, it has a calming effect throughout the body, helping people to feel less stressed.

Ali Taylor, Head of canine behaviour at Battersea, says: “So many people will set themselves New Year’s resolutions to lead a healthier lifestyle this year, and what better way to do it than to change the life of a rescue dog at the same time.

“Owning a dog can not only lead to a healthier lifestyle, but a happier one too. All of the dogs here are hoping for a second chance at a happy life, and have so much love to give, we don’t doubt that they could make someone’s 2019 happier.

“We’d encourage anyone who is in the position to adopt a dog to consider getting one from Battersea. There are such a vast variety of dogs here looking for homes. Whether you’re looking to head out on long walks, or just a potter around the corner, we are dedicated to finding the perfect dog for you and the perfect homes for our dogs.”

Three-year old Trev

There are a number of dogs currently in care at Battersea that are patiently waiting for their forever home, including Trev.

Trev is a three-year old Staffordshire Bull Terrier who is an outdoor loving dog and enjoys long walks. Trev needs a committed owner who have had the experience with bull breeds and who are able to continue with his basic training.

Staff at the Brands Hatch branch who are caring for Trev advise that he does struggle to spend time on his own so will need patient and dedicated people who can help him feel more confident in this area. He is friendly with other dogs but does need continued socialisation as he can be quite eager and enthusiastic when greeting and playing.

Rocky is a five-year old Siberian Husky being cared for by staff at the Battersea branch. He is a lively boy, who true to his breed is vocal and likes the sound of his own voice. Rocky enjoys company of his own people and loves to play with toys.

Battersea staff advise that Rocky needs owners that understand his breed and are also confident socialising him with other dogs and continuing on his training.

Casper, an eleven-year old Lurcher is a distinguished dog who is looking for a relaxed home to chill out in and enjoy being spoilt.

He is a placid Lurcher who enjoys the simple pleasures in life such as food, fluffy toys and affection and will capture the hearts of whomever is fortunate enough to rehome him. Casper may be able to live with another dog in his new home, his ideal partner would be a steady, calm female sighthound of a similar size. He would not enjoy the company of smaller dogs or those that are very playful or energetic.

If you’re interested in giving a dog a home this year, please visit www.batterse.org.uk to find out more.









Tiny paralysed puppy dumped to die

The RSPCA have launched an investigation after a paralysed five-week old puppy was dumped on Christmas Day to die.

The tiny merle-coloured pup was found in a cardboard box dumped in an alley in Carr Street, Bradford, on Christmas Day.

A member of the public found the puppy and took it home to look after it and called the RSPCA on Thursday (27 December).

Inspector Dave Holgate collected the dog and took him to a nearby vet. He said: “Unfortunatey, the little crossbreed was in a terrible state. He was collapsed at the rear and was dragging his back legs. It seems as though his back end was paralysed, and he was unable to use his legs.

“Goodness knows how long the poor pup had been in this state – he may have been born like this or could have deteriorated as he grew. I suspect he was abandoned by the breeder when they realised he would need expensive veterinary treatment or would fail to sell.”

Vets assessed the tiny dog and discovered he was suffering and was sadly unlikely to recover so he was put to sleep on welfare grounds.

Inspector Holgate added: “It’s so sad that we weren’t able to save this little puppy but I’m just glad he’s no longer sat inside a carboard box cold, frightened and in pain. At least he felt love and compassion in his final hours.

“To abandon this poor puppy – who was too young to be away from his mum and siblings – is disgraceful, but to do so on Christmas Day with him in dire need of veterinary attention is despicable.

“I’m now seriously concerned about his mother and appealing for anyone who recognises this pup or may know where she’s come from to get in touch by calling out inspectorate appeal line on 0300 123 8018.”




At least 10 million owners don’t know what’s in their pet’s food

New research from True Instinct, reveals that 10 million dog and cat owners are not aware of what is in their pet’s food.

Despite this, a quarter of pet owners are pledging to make a healthy New Year’s resolution for their four-legged friend.

The poll of UK dog and cat owners reveals that the nation’s knowledge of pet food ingredients is extremely low, with over 62% admitting to not knowing what they’re really feeding their pet.

More than half of owners said they weren’t aware that mainstream dry pet foods contain sugar, meat derivatives, processed ingredients and artificial additives.

Less than 15% of those surveyed are aware that shocking ingredients such as bone ash, feathers and synthetics can be found in some of these foods.

The knowledge gap continues with around a third of pet owners not realising dogs can’t eat foods such as chocolate or onions, which are both toxic.

Conversely, owners aren’t aware of the many ingredients that can improve pet health either; 14% say dogs can’t eat butternut squash, which is a nutritious vegetable, and 20% say blueberries are a no-go but are actually full of antioxidants.

Both are found in natural and raw pet foods, due to the countless health benefits they provide.

However, it’s not all doom and gloom. A quarter of pet owners are putting their pets first and have pledged that they’ll make a New Year’s resolution of their four-legged friend – ensuring they kick start they year to get their pet healthier and happier.

This could be down to the fact that over a third say their dog or cat suffers from a health issue, such as bad breath, diabetes or a skin condition, and 10% are overweight.

Whilst knowledge of ingredients is low, the research does show that 20% of pet parents say that when searching for their pet food brand, their cat or dog must visibly enjoy it, and a quarter stat it must make a difference to their health and wellbeing.

As revealed in the survey, here is a top 10 list of New Year’s resolutions for pets this January:

  1. Go for more walks (45%)
  2. Cut down on unhealthy treats (40%)
  3. Give them a better, more natural diet (31%)
  4. Spend more time with them (30%)
  5. Brush their teeth more often (29%)
  6. Pay more attention to their training/behaviour (25%)
  7. Take them for regular health checks (21%)
  8. Stop bad habits e.g. sleeping on the bed, eating from the table (19%)
  9. Give them more regular baths (18%)
  10. Ensure they socialise with other dogs/cats (16%)

Melanie Sainsbury, Veterinary Education Manager for True Instinct said: “January is often a time where our thoughts turn to getting healthier, be it taking part in ‘dry January’ or just generally being more conscious about what we eat – and this shouldn’t be any different for our pets. Whilst there is clearly a gap in knowledge of what’s really in certain pet foods, we understand that pet owners are often time-poor and often prioritise convenience.

“However, it’s promising to see form the research that pet parents want to make positive change – and it doesn’t have to be difficult either. Pets could take part in their very own Dry January’ – but once here they enjoy a balanced nutritious diet in the form of a more natural, healthy, dry food such as True Instinct. Our Raw Boost product includes no nasties and all the ingredients they need to thrive, whilst still in convenient format.”

For more information, you can visit www.trueinstinct.co.uk.






Kitten rushed to Bucks vets after eating Christmas chocolate

A tiny kitten was rushed to Hampden Veterinary Hospital after eating a bar of chocolate meant as a Christmas gift.

Five-month-old Luca had chomped his way through a Galaxy Salted Caramel chocolate bar that his owner had left in an unopened parcel on her bedside table.

When owner, Sally Laird, found the sweet-toothed tabby she immediately noticed something was wrong as he was acting sheepishly and not his usual perky self.

Realising he had managed to make his way through half a sharing sized bar, Mrs Laird rushed the kitten to Hampden Veterinary Hospital, in Anchor Lane, Aylesbury.

Chocolate contains an ingredient called theobromine, which is potentially life-threatening when eaten by cats and dogs.

While it is quite common for dogs to be taken to veterinary practices after eating chocolate, particularly around the Christmas period, it is very unusual for cats.

Mrs Laird said: “The chocolate had been sent to me by a friend as a gift. I was planning to save it for Christmas and had left it on the bedside table. Luca is very inquisitive in his nature, so it must have caught his eye. Luca was very quiet as we drove him to Hampden Veterinary Hospital, and he was sick when he arrived in the hospital’s waiting area.”

As veterinary surgeon Kay Mak was able to act quickly, inducing further vomiting before the chocolate could be digested, Luca got off lucky.

Kay said: “We gave Luca liquids and regularly checked for seizures as chocolate can rapidly increase the heartbeat, with theobromine acting in a similar way to caffeine in people. He was very lucky as he had eaten such a large amount of chocolate, especially for a small kitten and we were able to release him the following day.

“We would urge pet owners to ensure they don’t leave any chocolate within easy reach, particularly over the Christmas period when its more common to have it in the house. If your pet eats something it shouldn’t, contact your vet straight away and make sure you provide a full report on what has been eaten, how much and when.”

Over the Christmas period, pets are more likely than usual to ingest food like chocolate – either by getting their paws on them when no one is looking, like Luca, or because the owners don’t know how dangerous they can be.

Mrs Laird added: “All the emergency veterinary team were excellent at caring for Luca and keeping us informed on how he was doing as we were very concerned for him when we were told just how dangerous chocolate can be for cats.

“They were very surprised by just how much he had eaten as it’s not something they often see with cats. We will definitely be more aware that parcels that are delivered this time of year could contain food or chocolate.”








Family find fox asleep in kitchen

A family got a shock one morning when they discovered a fox asleep in their kitchen.

A family in Mitcham had quite the shock when they came down to the kitchen early one morning to find a fox asleep on the top of their microwave.

Kim Fryer was at home in Rawnsley Avenue on 15 December when her daughter discovered the fox early in the morning.

Kim said: “My daughter found him at 7am and called up to me. I came down and spotted this little fox curled up on top of the microwave. I have five cats and a dog so obviously I have a cat flap. He must have crawled under the gate and through the cat flap.

“A couple of my plants were smashed and there was mud everywhere. She put the light on and one eye opened, but he didn’t move. We could tell there was something wrong with him.”

The family called the RSPCA and Inspector Phil Normal collected the fox and took him to the charity’s Putney Animal Hospital in London, where vets checked him over and monitored him.

The fox seemed extremely weak and lethargic to begin with, but he soon perked up and staff could find nothing wrong with him.

A hospital spokesperson said: “He had got in through the cat flap and found a nice warm spot to sleep in. He was quite happy to be brought in to the hospital for a health check but was understandably not keen on being in a cage.

“Fortunately, he was quite healthy with a beautiful fluffy coat, so after a thorough check over, he was released back into the area he was found in by one of the hospital staff.”

The fox was just one of the 10,000 animals the RSPCA expects to rescue this winter as a result if the 55,821 calls the animal welfare charity’s 24-hour cruelty hotline receives over the Christmas period.